A significant majority of Americans want Congress to be involved in the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, according to a new Suffolk University/USA Today poll conducted April 8-13.
The national survey of 1,000 Americans found that 72 percent -- a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents -- want Congress to have a say on whether the United States should support the deal. Only 19 percent disagree.
A March survey from Pew Research also found strong support for Congressional involvement in any agreement. Sixty-two percent of Americans said that Congress should have the final decision on the deal, while 29 percent said Obama should.
The results come at a significant moment in the debate over the agreement, which would lift sanctions in Iran in return for restrictions on the country's nuclear program. On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously voted for a bill that would require the president to submit the final Iran agreement to Congress for approval. Previously, Obama had promised to veto the bill if it passed, but on Tuesday the White House conceded and implied that the president would sign the bill in its current form.
In general, Americans have been supportive of talks with Iran over nuclear power. A YouGov/Economist poll conducted in early April found that 61 percent of Americans support negotiations with Iran over a nuclear deal.
However, polls have indicated that Americans are weary of the tentative deal currently in the works. When the YouGov/Economist survey asked respondents whether they support the current Iran deal, the responses were about evenly divided -- 35 percent approved, 30 percent opposed and 36 percent were not sure. Democrats were in favor almost 3-to-1 when compared to Republicans.
In the Suffolk University/USA Today poll, 46 percent of respondents said they approved of the deal, while 37 percent were opposed. Seventy percent of Democrats said they approve, while nearly the same ratio of Republicans said they are against the agreement. Independents were evenly divided, with slightly more in favor of the deal than opposed.
In contrast, a survey conducted by Hart Research and sponsored by Democratically aligned Americans United for Change found 61 percent of all respondents in favor of the deal when it informed respondents about what the framework of the agreement entailed.
A majority of people in that survey also supported several of specifics of the agreement that were explained to them. By a 2-to-1 ratio, respondents said that Congress should allow the agreement to go forward but closely monitor the implementation.
According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates data on publicly released polls, Congress has a current approval rating of 18 percent, while Obama has held steady near 46 percent since January. When it comes to his job approval on foreign policy, however, Obama drops to a 38 percent approval rating.
Despite the low approval of Congress, Americans still want legislators to be involved in the Iran issue. The bill will be up for a vote on the Senate floor this month, and will need to be approved by the House of Representatives before heading to the president's desk.
The Suffolk University/USA Today survey of 1,000 adults was conducted via landline and cell phone April 8-13 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.
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